Romans 7:24-25 - What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
“What a wretched man I am?” I’ve heard Christians quote this scripture referring to themselves, even though they have already accepted Jesus. This is not accurate. In the context of what Paul is writing here we see that he is talking about his old self, before Christ.
Before we accept Jesus and receive forgiveness for our sins we were slaves to that nature. That is when this was true, we were wretched men, deserving death. Paul goes on in this passage to show us where our hope comes from. He asks, “Who will rescue me from this body of death?” and then immediately follows it with the answer. “Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
So if we look at our lives we can see that we were trapped in sin and a slave to the sinful nature. When we realized our sin we became conscious of the fact that according to the law we deserved death. But thanks be to God, who, through His infinite Love, sent Jesus to take our sin and freed us from the bondage we were in. He made us righteous.
Now this is not to say we will never sin again, but we are no longer controlled by sin. Now, through the Spirit, our minds are in line with God’s law, which is summed up in Loving God and Loving people. We still have the sinful nature in the form of the flesh, but the Spirit gives us power over it.
So remember, you are no longer wretched. That was your old self. Now, through Jesus, you are righteous and Holy, set apart for God. So put your flesh under and let your spirit reign in your heart and mind as you are led by the Spirit of God.